Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Landowners band together to cash in on natural gas boom

As natural gas drilling continues to trend upward with the popularity of hydraulic fracturing, more landowners are banding together to sell rights to the gas below their property. "The Ohio and Surrounding Counties of West Virginia Landowners Group includes more than 400 property owners and controls gas rights over 26,400 acres, stretching into Western Pennsylvania," Andrew Conte of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Seizing on their joined power, the group reportedly turned down an offer in April from Chesapeake Appalachia worth more than $80 million up front, at $3,000 an acre, plus 18 percent royalties on the gas.

The Ohio/West Virginia group isn't the only coalition of landowners looking to cash in on the natural gas boom. The Friendsville Group, located in Pennsylvania's Bradford and Susquehanna counties with 1,384 members and 33,047 acres, negotiated a deal with Talisman Energy last year worth $181 million up front, at $5,500 an acre, plus 20 percent of royalties. "There's a lot of these large groups that are being put together," James McCune, a Washington County, Penn., lawyer who specializes in gas leases, told Conte. "If they're done correctly and if people get lucky, they can be a big benefit for people. But there are so many variables and so many differences in the tracts of land in a group of that size." (Read more)

No comments: